Aug 14

The future of mobile payments, Apple, Google, Amazon

iphone-fingerprintIt’s no secret that big corporations are planting the seed for the next generation of payment processing solutions. It’s a big industry to tackle. If you consider the fact that coins ruled for thousands of years. And paper currency for about a hundred years. Plastic credit cards have held firm for a few decades. The next generation will be even more secure and easy to use.

Right now there is a lot of talk about bitcoin. I personally like the concept of cryptocurrency, but the adoption rate is low and it will take a strong tech giant, or a partnership of these giant tech companies to execute the infrastructure and protocol. It’s too fragmented and only the tech savvy are playing around with this type of currency.

So, what will the future hold? Theres only really 3 players in this game. The three companies that can build and execute on the next generation mobile payments are Apple, Google, and Amazon.

Google already tried and failed with Google wallet. But Google is a trusted brand with deep multi device OS penetration. People trust Google. People already know how to use Google services. It’s just a matter of people getting onboard.

Amazon and Apple are two companies that hold the most credit card info of consumers. This gives these two companies a big head start. Both have a lot of money to execute.

If I was a betting man, I’d put all of my money on Apple. Here’s why.

1. Apple already does payment transaction on iTunes.

2. Apple is a trusted brand when it comes to security and consumer experience.

3. The integration of the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone was a big hit. It created a perception of security and it’s the best case example of user experience.

4. Recent iBeacon tech can possible payment processing and ease of use to the next level. Hardware to setup iBeacon payment stations are cheap and will be widely available in the near future.

Can you imagine visiting a coffee shop or a department store and just selecting your purchase and putting your finger on your phone to complete the transaction? How awesome is that? No need to carry a wallet. We already have our phones with us at all times. It’s secure and simple.

Note. I left out Paypal or Square out of this because in the big picture, they will merely be vendors or partners in this equation. Going into your phone and launching the Paypal app is already too much work for the future. I feel that the feature will need to happen at the root level. This gives a big advantage for Apple and Google.

Sean Lee out.

Aug 14

Internet of Everything IoE

tiny-chip-golfball-freescaleThree buzzwords for 2014 are iBeacons, Wearable Tech, and Internet of Things (IoT). Actually these terms have been around for at least a couple of years. But we are seeing a lot of traction within the industry. A lot of startups are testing out mashups of these products/services.

tiny-chip-thumbWhen I was a 7, computers were big, heavy, and expensive. At 14 my science teacher told me that one day computer chips will be so inexpensive and small that even a paper cup will house a microchip. Fast forward 22 years and we have the Internet of Everything (IoE).

My team and I are currently working on some applications for the Internet of Things. At MashUps, we hope to build something not for the sake of building tech into it, but for it to be really useful. We want simple solutions. We want automated data. It’s 2014 and we don’t expect people to have to do much to engage with our product/service.

vessyl-smart-cupOne of my favorite products that came out in the last few months is the Vessyl smart cup. Put a chip in a cup and it tells you what you’re drinking. I imagine tupperware or others to follow suit.

I’m going to just list some ridiculously simple everyday products that can possibly integrate a microchip. (Shoe, bag, shopping cart, glasses, chair, toilet, stove, toys, clock, sofa, bed)

The list goes on and on. There you go, you have the starting point for your startup.

Sean Lee out!

Jul 14

Potential of Sodastream and 3d printed foods

sodastreamEver since Markerbot came out with the 3d printer, I’ve looked at the potential of 3d printing and what it means for the near future. Currently the focus is on prototyping. And at best, these devices can only really make plastic figurines. I see it going the other way. I see the potential in the home food products industry.

sodastream2I recently bought a Sodastream. Have to say I love it! It’s fast and easy to use. Nothing techie about it. Just get some watch and press a button. I like where this is going.

Companies and brands are already doing it for the coffee industry. Even a few years ago, the idea of a good cub of coffee from a capsule was absurd. But now, it’s in peoples minds. Nespresso and Krups capsule coffee is easy to make and really affordable compared to a $5 starbucks. Taste pretty good too.

Just make it easy to use, and have a system in place for easy distribution. And the taste has to be around 80% of a store bought food or drink.

Dec 13

The future of jobs

I keep seeing hip hop artists and nba players talking about coding. What’s going on?

The world is changing. That’s what’s going on.

Old school standards for intelligence is changing. We no longer need to use our brain to process information.

We no longer need to memorize numbers or names. We have Google to take care of that for us.

The only thing skill that will be in need in the future will be the ability to communicate or interact with machines.

Google glass is just a side project at the moment, but it’s a game changer. Think about it. We will have access to Google all the time. I know some of you are saying that this is already the case with the iPhone. No it isn’t. We still need to take the phone out and punch in data to access info. Or to shoot a photo. With a Google glass type of device, it will be on all the time. Everything will be recorded. Every conversation will be accompanied by a never-ending feed of info.

You won’t have to remember anything. You won’t even need to do anything.

The way we search for info will also change. Goole will know what you want to ask before you even type or speak.

Scary shit but this is where we are headed.

Jobs? Our consumer based economy will keep our jobs safe for at least another few generations. But the good ones will be taken by people who know how to interact with machines. That’s where coding comes in.

Coding is like art. You’re creating something out of thin air. Complex games, full service platforms, online stores, are all created by some geek that understands a computer language.

The divide will happen here. Those who can’t create will have shit jobs. And those that have the power to create…the sky is the limit.